Erica Tenggara: “I train so I can move better and lift heavier”
Name: Erica Tenggara
Occupation: Yoga Instructor
Personal Trainer: John Cheah
Time with Level: Since October 2019
Erica has pretty much been an athlete her whole life. She had never worked with a personal trainer with a structured programme before, but this time, she wanted a different challenge. Something that would help her move better, improve her technique and lift heavier. Personal training sessions provided her with the guidance she needed to get closer to her goal of moving better and lifting heavier.
“Coming into this, I was excited to work on my technique and was glad to have someone guiding me along the way.”
When she first started working with John Cheah, her goal was to improve her deadlift and pull-ups record. John customised a personal training programme which included exercises such as deadlifts, snatch balance and back squats.
“A personal trainer has their attention on you, ensuring that you make every repetition count.”
John also placed great emphasis on tempo work, which helped to improve Erica’s technique and control. (Tempo work for deadlifts, for example, means you have to lower in three counts and pull up in one). This helps to develop good technique and requires a lot of control. “John is not just there to tell you to deadlift. Instead, he explains how it works.”
Since she wanted to pick up Olympic weightlifting, John included exercises like back squats and the snatch balance, which would build up her snatch technique. “I knew how to back squat but John changed everything, from my feet positioning to where I place the bar and how I move my knees” said Erica. “John not only has the experience, but he is also very good at coaching. He’s very passionate about what he does – he still reads about it and trains consistently” said Erica.
“Although John is very strict when to form, he’s also very understanding, especially when you’re having a bad day in the gym. So you can say that he doesn’t just teach from a book – he uses his head and heart.”
One thing for sure, the training has proven helpful. After 2 months of training, Erica can now deadlift 80kg (which is 30kg over her body weight) with good form – a far cry from 62kg she could barely manage when she first started. She started off with a record of 1.5 pull-ups. Now, she can comfortably do 4.
As for her experience training at Level, Erica says,
“It’s great for someone who has no experience in the gym, or even someone who’s fit but has never gotten full guidance.”
“Level is great because it’s not a very pretentious place. People don’t come here just to lose weight, nor get caught up in counting macros or getting as lean as possible. You’re really just here to move better and get stronger.
I would recommend Level to anyone, regardless of fitness level.”
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